Did you know that science and engineering fields are among the highest earning career fields yielding at least $70,600 annually, more than double the average annual earnings of the entire U.S. workforce? Yet, women only account for 40% of degree holders in these areas and only 27% of women ultimately pursue a career in these fields. Girls who pursue careers in STEM fields are more equipped to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

This is why we asked our volunteers and board members to join us in our first ever Girls Inc. Operation SMART® (Science, Math, and Relevant Technology) Challenge, a team fundraising competition to support our mission of inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.  

As a part of the Operation SMART Challenge, teams raised money to support Girls Inc. programs, including those that give girls confidence to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. 

Operation SMART Challenge teams raised nearly $4,000 to support Girls Inc. programs. Our top fundraising team was the “Big Beautiful Brains,” led by Jenny Banner, with team members from Fusion Alliance, BLASTmedia, SmallBox, and One Click Ventures. We are grateful for our volunteers from Midwest ISO and board members, Linda Hicks and Jenny Banner, for taking the challenge and leading this effort. 

Board member Jenny Banner speaks at her team's fundraising event on May 3

Board member Jenny Banner speaks to attendees of the “Big Beautiful Brains” fundraiser to support Girls Inc. programs.
Board member Linda Hicks works with girls to build a robot during Girls Inc. Day
Board member Linda Hicks works with girls to build a robot during Girls Inc. Day.